Having e-friendship with members of the opposite sex
Your answer to relations with people of the opposite sex refers mostly to the observance of ‘purdah’ and the ‘lowering of gazes’. I ask then, would e-friendship with a person of the other gender be right?
I am not too sure. I’ll tell you what the problem is. Although people belonging to the other sex are individuals like us, they have a potential threat for us as we have for them. So, in a way, when you are dealing with them, you are dealing with another person. However, the danger is that you may not be able to keep the kind discipline on your feelings that is desirable in Islam. If your question wouldn’t have used the word ‘friendship’ and would have have just confined itself to the mention of a case of exchanging important information through e-mail, my answer would have been that ‘yes’, it seems okay. However, the word ‘friendship’ even if it is on e-mail makes me nervous. I tell you, it is always better to be careful today than to be sorry tomorrow.
The Quran says:
“Discard both the visible and the invisible sin.” (6:120)
So if while going through the communication you start feeling that the latter part of the above verse is getting violated, just withdraw yourself from the process. Allah Almighty knows the best. Do read my article “The Two Levels” in the light of what I have mentioned here.